REVIEW: ‘Buffy the Last Vampire Slayer,’ Issue #1

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Buffy The Last Vampire Slayer #1

Buffy: The Last Vampire Slayer #1 is written by Casey Gilly, illustrated by Joe Jaro, colored by Joana Lafuente, and lettered by Ed Dukeshire. It is published by BOOM! Studios. Years in the future, dark magic has led to vampires walking the Earth, unafraid of sunlight. Buffy Summers —the Slayer born to hunt vampires —is now an elderly woman wandering the streets of London, coming to terms with the loss of her friends and her Slayer abilities taking a new turn. To further throw salt in the wound, a new treaty forbids humans and vampires from harming each other —rendering Buffy as little more than a footnote in a bygone era.

This is the latest comic to explore a dystopia featuring an older version of a popular hero. Much like Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Last Ronin, the issue slowly reveals what happened to Buffy’s world via flashbacks and shows just how far the Slayer has fallen. The river of time has caught up to her, making escaping from vampires a trickier affair; she literally gets tangled up in a fire escape during a rooftop chase. Her abilities have also changed; though she’s lost the strength and stamina that comes with being a Slayer, her durability has increased. And she also gets frequent nosebleeds when in the presence of vampires.

Even though this series takes place in a world where vampires reign supreme, Gilly’s script manages to tap into the mix of humor and horror that made the Buffy the Vampire Slayer television series a pop culture phenomenon. Buffy takes self-deprecation to a whole new level, calling her escape attempt “pathetic,” and has a fun rapport with the vampire Anya who is the last living link to her old life. Yet, she also misses her friend; one of the issue’s most emotional scenes features her holding a conversation with a picture of one of her fallen friends. Buffy fans will also love the ending, which reveals another connection to Buffy’s old life —and plays into another popular post-apocalyptic trope.

The art by Jaro has very similar vibes to BOOM! veteran Dan Mora, specifically his work on Once and Future. As befitting the title and setting, Buffy has grown older, with wrinkles lining her face and her hair going from golden blond to snow white. The vampires also look like they did on the TV show, with veins pulsing through their skin and their faces transforming into something inhuman. Rounding out the artistic team are Lafuente and Dukeshire, the latter another BOOM! Studios veteran who’s served as the letterer for the Power Rangers titles. Lafuente’s color art shifts depending on the situation; the club Buffy enters at the beginning of the issue is lit in pink and purple, while her apartment is lit a cold blue, reflecting her depression.

Buffy: The Last Vampire Slayer #1 envisions a dark future for the titular heroine and contains the same blend of horror and humor that made the TV series a hit. The Buffyverse continues to grow at BOOM! Studios and the shape it’s taking should appeal to fans old and new.

Buffy: The Last Vampire Slayer #1 is available now wherever comics are sold.


Buffy The Last Vampire Slayer #1
4.5

TL;DR

Buffy: The Last Vampire Slayer #1 envisions a dark future for the titular heroine and contains the same blend of horror and humor that made the TV series a hit. The Buffyverse continues to grow at BOOM! Studios and the shape it’s taking should appeal to fans old and new.